There’s no denying that the past several years have been transformative to the way we do business, the way we consume media, and the way we interact with others. With the many changes brewing in our lives, the world of wedding media has also undergone some significant shifts that influence the content you see and the content you submit.
From an intentional focus to diversity and inclusion to a shift in consumer habits, here’s how wedding publications have evolved in recent years and how that impacts the way you promote your business.
The rise of the P2P model
In the heyday of blogging, publishers were able to monetize their content entirely through sidebar advertising. What a time! Unfortunately, that is no longer the case, and some publications have shifted to a pay-to-play (P2P) model to remain in business.
Stringent ad guidelines and declining rates have influenced media outlets to feature content exclusively from wedding professionals who pay to be a part of their vendor community. While this has been a hot topic amongst industry pros, most publishers are transparent about their editorial model, so be mindful of researching an outlet before submitting your work.
A push for more inclusive content
Although many BIPOC, LBGTQ+, and other underrepresented groups within the industry have been fighting for change for a while, the wedding industry has a way to go when it comes to showcasing diversity authentically. White, cis, heteronormative “ideals” have represented the industry for far too long, but that’s finally starting to change.
Thanks to social activism and some hard-but-necessary discussions within the industry, editors are becoming much more intentional about the content they produce to highlight couples of all different backgrounds, races, orientations, and identities. To align with this shift, inclusion must be genuine — tokenism does not help the cause but rather harms it through performative actions that do not inspire change.
The further decline of print media
The climate has changed, and most editors recognize that content is largely consumed online. As a result, many print publications have folded, oftentimes due to a lack of advertising dollars. Running a print publication is expensive and requires a significant investment of time to keep it going.
With that said, there is so much beauty in print. There’s something special about a newly engaged couple picking up a wedding magazine from the aisle of their local grocery store and seeing all of the latest inspiration before their eyes. It’s extra exhilarating for wedding pros to see your name in print, where it will live on forever.
If you partner with a print publication, be sure it has a strong online presence so you can get the glory and the reach. And it’s worth the reminder: Please support the publications you love—both online and print—so they can stick around and keep producing quality content.
A case for niche publications
While earning a feature on a highly-coveted national publication may be exciting, most wedding professionals would ultimately find more value in niche media. Sure, they may not have the big-name recognition as Martha Stewart Weddings or Vogue, but niche publications are a powerful form of targeted marketing.
While they may have smaller audiences than their national counterparts, niche publications position you front-and-center of your target audience. Instead of trying to pick out your ideal clients from the crowd, consider how much value you can get from a crowd filled with your ideal clients. Couples are actively seeking out specific content for their ideas and inspiration, as well as for local guidance in finding vendors and venues. Niche publications have come a long way in recent years — don’t count them out!
The growing case of burnout
With the wedding boom this year, many wedding professionals are sending the same message: They are tired and overworked. This collective burnout isn’t just affecting in-the-trenches professionals, though. Be mindful that media teams are feeling the pressure as well.
Editors are people, too, and many are solopreneurs that are wearing all the hats — just like you. You may not hear back in 24 hours, or you might not understand why your recent submission wasn’t accepted. Rest assured that media decisions are never personal. Please show grace and patience as you interact with publishers and writers.
Going into a new year, keep these changes in mind as you plan weddings and prepare submissions to industry publications. Consider how you can adjust your marketing approach in 2022 to align with the new landscape. Perhaps it’s time to join the vendor community on your favorite blog, or maybe you can shift your sights to niche publications for a while. To find success, you must know what to expect and be prepared to adapt accordingly.